and then hold me like an orchid

like a rocking chair my hips to get into it I like to feel hands
on my body in different places simultaneously  I like my
nipples grazed but less like a deer more like a heron over
water its feet dipping into the surface kiss me everywhere
don’t miss my lower back I like my toes sucked the
bottoms of my feet make me scream butts are meant to be
held I like my nipples held like you’re turning a coffee bean
between your fingers yes I think I’m sensitive in the
place where you’re sensitive thanks for asking and no I
won’t be held accountable for the noises be they rabbit or
owl or chimpanzee please lick the mole on my wrist open
me like a primrose and then pluck me like a dandelion

~~~

Kaitlin LaMoine Martin was raised by a community of writers in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She’s been published in Barrow Street, Bellevue Review, and Passages North, among others. She owns a photography business, works for a non-profit, and spends hours thinking of new ways to entertain her dogs, Frida and Adam Lee Wags II.

Still & Still

Still

His sexts show off new panties
hugging their hands on his ass—
he the candelabra in the mirror—
figure with flames too distant
to blow out. You leave him some
dirty talk, a constellation that dries
on your hands for him.
             In a dream
a woman doesn’t believe these
condoms are for you. She’s mad
you have sex at all. So you sleep
with her, you—
             Wake in a dark bed,
to pull yourself out feels hard
as rubbing one out just so you don’t
have to later, eating so you aren’t
hungry later. Still, you tend
your body like a stained counter,
scrubbing until all trace
of human touch is washed away.

Still

I the boy who eats other boys—
tongue dipped in their scars
and teeth woven tattoos.
He a gun that follows its fire
to catch its bullet. He say snowball
I say snowfall. Say deer track
through white quiet like words
sinking their stakes on a page.
He say wild when I got a fistful
of his hair. I throw mud clumps
in the river. Eat soil. Am soil.
Am what takes your water,
that cradles and caws even
when your claws leave gouges
when your antlers gouging
my teeth still receive your throat.
Still so much thrashing gets named love.

~~~

Jaye Harper (she/her) is a trans woman from Oklahoma who teaches writing in Michigan. If you want to contact her for a collaboration, read more of her work, or to fight her you can visit her here.

Sending a Nude to the Wrong Saint on Accident

All Calvin Klein cotton & bicep. All naval tendon
& alkaline powered. All sinfully sweet & tender
bulge. I remembered your maroon fingernail polish
& crest-fresh smile. I remembered your brash &
tattoos. I remembered your angelic scapulae &
felt the taste of an orchard in my mouth. I wanted
for you to have this. I made this for you. Took it
& took liberties with my own slivered darkness.
Tell me you’d forgive me if I hogged the covers.
Tell me you’d forgive me if I didn’t come at all.
I wanted to. I have a hard time relinquishing
everything I store inside because I’m afraid. I am
bare-ass & eye-tooth. I have a pond in the small
of my back & a sky written at the base of my throat.
Tell me you’ll save this. Tell me that my night
is bright with the possibility of magic & loss.

 

~~~

 

Samuel J Fox is a bisexual poet and essayist living in the Southern US. He frequents graveyards, dilapidated houses, and coffee shops. He is poetry editor for Bending Genres. He appears in such places as Sooth Swarm Journal, Cahoodaloodaling, and Vagabond City. He Tweets (@samueljfox).

SEXT

I want an MRI of your dick
inside me. I want to print out
each layer full-size on a sheet
and hang them end-to-end
on a corkboard beside us
to study, my leg hoisted
over your shoulder. I want
our heat on paper,
a professional sketch
of the closest I’ll ever get
to being your skin, but even that
won’t be perfect, that fuzzy outline
of your cock like a UFO
or Loch Ness monster sighting.

The longer this goes on, the likelier
it seems I made you up, your hot flesh
a mist in my hands, like
I’ll slide my boot up your thigh
in a restaurant and find only
the leg of the chair, or my toes
will miss your mouth, slip through
some crack in the universe
never to be seen again.

When I first made half-moons
in the wet clay of your back
I wanted to stop everything,
peel out of the shot like a kid
in an anti-drug PSA, like
“Hey guys, do you believe
this shit?!” Because lately,
when I’m not ruined by you
I dream of quitting poetry
to pursue a new career
as a sports commentator.
I’d devote my life to drawing
circles and lines on freeze-frames
of you nailing me with your socks on
at 6 AM, seeking trap doors in the angle
of the dawn shadows on your cheeks,
like this shit is the Super Bowl,
like this shit is the moon landing,
because it might as well be.

 

~~~

 

Kat Giordano is a poet and massive crybaby in Pittsburgh, PA. Her poems have appeared in Maudlin House, OCCULUM, Indigent Press, The Cincinnati Review, and others. They have also been known to show up trembling on people’s doorsteps in the middle of the night, too traumatized to explain what they’ve seen. She is one of two editors of Philosophical Idiot and can usually be found overindulging in her shoddy mental health on Twitter at @giordkat. Her debut full-length collection, The Poet Confronts Bukowski’s Ghost, is due out in summer 2018.

Saturnalia

she loses her virginity on Christmas Eve
heaving and moaning to the star-crossed night
snow blowing into the manger.
there are those who say it was Saturn
his eyes moon sickles and glowing stars
so when bloody Christ emerges from the womb
he swallows and swaddles him in acid.
little messiah of order and peace
fermenting in the stomach of his God
with only candlelight as misguidance
he cradles them in his palms
swallowing lights into his stomach
and freeing the suns to the darkening void.
she will survive them both
balancing time to entropy to rusted gold
she hides her scale within her veil
grasping the air as she orgasms.
Saturn’s belly starts rumbling.
~~~
While she meditates, Tian Tran writes poetry and short fiction. While she clouds the sky, she takes glorified selfies. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition and various literary magazines. Her photography has appeared in TRACK//FOUR, Sugar Rascals, and Rambutan Literary, among others. She would prefer she/her pronouns, and takes her tea without milk.

Aubade for the Road

I am not into public sex

 

but when both you and the person you’re seeing

live with parents

it’s less a thrill and more a necessity

 

you get to know every bathroom in town

that has a sheltered entrance and a door that locks

 

a romantic evening in

is driving 30 miles at 2am to an abandoned boat ramp

so you can do it without having to look over your shoulder between strokes.

 

you invent positions that are less Kama Sutra

and more bowl of spaghetti

 

and you pray none of your friends or family will need a ride

because the whole car stinks of passion

 

even when you’re alone

 

you start taking the backstreets

so you can be on the lookout for abandoned parking lots

 

it’s a lot like when I lived in that car

that summer when I got comfortable with loneliness
I spent months bathing in whichever bathroom
had the biggest and most private stall

I’d cover the windows with bedsheets to keep the streetlights out

and the fear in, but if I wanted a good night’s sleep I would drive out of the city

until I could make out Orion again

 

my neck and back always hurt from sleeping in a Twister position

 

wouldn’t give rides because the whole car smelled like unwashed stress

 

and those secluded asphalt deserts were the best
spots to get trashed and pass out in the driver’s seat

 

Rumi compared love to being drunk

but for me it is more like sobering up

 

owning a car is a lot like being in love

in that there is so much you can do

inside of it

~~~

Troy Kody Cunio lives in Orlando. You can find all his poems and things at troykodycunio.com

VISITS FROM AN OLD FLAME

She showed up in a large, white van.
Her cauterizing tools were kept
within Velcro flaps that enthralled
the vehicle’s essential task.
No discernible hats.
Her talent is concealed,
wrapped astutely out of sight,
in a long coat of lipid gabardine.
She sniffs, my blood is here
love’s wound spilling still.
She searches for a source of power,
plugs into a polarizing orifice.
My anemic blood stalls.
She gathers up her things
and has departed
before I even swell.
~~~
Colin James has a book of poems forthcoming from Wundor Editions. He lives in Massachusetts.